I’ve been thinking lately about the term “getting high”, as it is so commonly used in our culture today.
As a student of NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), I know the real power our language has in influencing our lives.
This leads me to wonder about the relationship between how we define getting high and the epidemic we now face with Substance Use Disorder in our country.
Dictionaries define “getting high” as exhibiting elation or euphoric excitement.
By this definition, it seems this is a feeling we would all strive for and embrace — at least I certainly do. After all, isn’t that why we stretch ourselves as humans by reaching for the stars?
Why else would we jump out of airplanes, climb Mount Everest, or even go on roller coasters?
Getting high is what makes us feel alive.
Referring to the use of harmful substances and behaviors as “getting high” gives drug use an allure that can seem very attractive to a young mind when, in reality, it’s anything but.
I can tell you, as a man who battled substance abuse for several decades, 99.9 percent of the time that I was using substances, I was not “getting high”.
I was numbing the painful feelings and thoughts I had because I was at such a low point in my life. Thoughts that began in early childhood and snowballed from there.
Granted, there may have been a few times in the beginning when I felt elated, but not many. Still, I have to believe that even then there were many healthy alternatives I would have chosen, had I not been so young and naïve.
Turns out, there are a lot of ways to “get high” that do not require substances or behaviors that have a negative effect on your life.
I can’t help but wonder what my life would’ve been like had I understood this at a young age.
In The Psychology of Extreme Sports, author Joachim Vogt Isaksen, HiNT, collected research into the effects of thrill-seeking and adventuring on people’s lives. He…